1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 63

Hellfire Club, by Edguy
Suggested by Owen Pauling

I have a friend, who some of you know, that looks like Wrestling.

He doesn’t look like any particular wrestler. Actually, that’s a lie. He looks a bit like Stone Cold Steve Austin. And also a bit like the Rock. And also a bit like Cesaro, for those of you who watch.

He actually looks like all Wrestling. Like the manifestation of Wrestling, the concept of Wrestling. When he enters a room, you expect entrance music and fireworks as he strikes a five-second pose, before he picks up a steel chair and beats someone on the head with it.

Although I can’t confirm it, I assume he’d look amazing in nothing but rubber trunks. Maybe with a snake draped around his shoulders.

Similarly, Hellfire Club, by Edguy, sounds like Heavy Metal.

Not any one particular band, mind. Like my friend, this album sounds like the embodiment of Heavy Metal. The personification of Heavy Metal.

The singer channels the greats of the genre throughout every track. In places he’s pure Bruce Dickinson. In others, he’s Ronnie James Dio. Muscially, it’s a whistlestop tourthrough a number of stalwart styles and Genres. Helloween is in there, all soaring vocals and powerful drums. Then there’s the ludicrous bombast of Manowar, with dragons and demons and pure mystical waffle. It gets thrashy in places, but it’s more Anvil than Anthrax, more Spinal Tap than Motorhead. And just when you think you’ve got the measure of it, it stings a la Scorpions, then rocks out some classic Poison sounds that are almost a pastiche, like The Darkness or Steel Panther.

The whole thing was great fun.

Thing is, I’ve a life that’s been mired in this stuff, so it’s bound to tear through me like a hurricane. It embodies a lot of noise that I loved in my youth, and have a fondness for still. But it’s not necessarily the freshest sound, and if you’ve no frame of reference then the nostalgia factor will be lost on you.

I enjoyed the vast majority of this, but perhaps my favourite tract was the rather crass Lavatory Love Machine. It details the singer’s fantasy about joining the Mile High Club with a flight attendant. And yes, it’s everything you’d expect it to be with such a title. It makes a promise, and delivers.

Hellfire Club gets 7/10. If I ever fancy some classic old school sounds, but I’m not sure who from, I’ll be sure to fire this up. Rock on!

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